Love and Survival in Budapest
The Memoir of Artur Renyi

Paper: 978 1 78220 416 9 / $16.95
 
Published: July 2017  

Publisher: Karnac Books
152 pp., 5 1/8" x 7 7/8"
Series: Karnac Library Series
This book was written by Artur Renyi in the late 1940s as a memoir and gift to his only child, Dr Alfred Renyi, noted Hungarian mathematician and the father of probability theory. The memoir is written in the form of a diary and chronicles the life of Artur, a linguist and engineer, and his wife, Borbala Alexander, a photographer who just happens to be the younger sister of the eminent psychoanalyst Franz Alexander, the founder of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. It covers the years 1921 through to 1948. This work was translated by the author’s granddaughter and great granddaughter and edited by Dr Alexander’s granddaughter.

This unique work documents the fate of Hungarian Jews in Budapest long before, during, and after the Nazi regime. Artur Renyi writes compellingly and grippingly about fascism in Hungary and the persecutory laws against Jews, life in pre-World War II Budapest, and the air strikes on Budapest. He details what happened when 250,000 Jews were forced to leave their homes in Budapest. It is most of all an intimate tale of a family written after World War II, when things changed dramatically in Eastern Europe. It is a love letter from father to son and tells of one family’s courage, compassion, and integrity during a time when all hell was breaking loose around them.

Table of Contents:
Preface
Introduction by Judit Meszaros

1) Borka’s tale of our meeting
2) The early years
3) Work and politics
4) Nazism comes to Hungary
5) Liberation, at last
6) Heartache comes to me

Afterword
About the Editors



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Reviews & Endorsements:
"A tremendously moving story of love, persecution, and survival, the memoirs of Artur Renyi magically transport us to Budapest and offer us a chilling portrait of the struggle of the Hungarian Jews during the Nazi regime. Sensitively introduced by Ilonka Venier Alexander, stylishly translated by members of Renyi’s family, and superbly contextualised by Professor Judit Mészarós, Love and Survival in Budapest: The Memoir of Artur Renyi has the capacity to touch our hearts and to break our hearts in equal measure."
- Professor Brett Kahr, Consultant Psychotherapist at The Balint Consultancy in London, Trustee of the Freud Museum, and Senior Fellow at Tavistock Relationships, , Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology
"This finely observed and moving book documents not only a crucial period in European history but is also a memoir of love
and struggle in impossible times. Global politics today make its publication all the more topical, and it should encourage us not to forget those dark years and what we must learn from them."
- Darian Leader, psychoanalyst and member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research
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